The Architectural Digest Design Show has a wide range of household products from different companies from around the globe. Designers and artists showcase their art work. There are also seminars, panel discussions and programming located in the Jenn-Air Master Class Studio. The AD show is now the largest show in the US focused on luxury design.
In tandem with the AD Design, DIFFA (the Design Industry Foundation Fighting Aids) is located at the neighboring Pier 92 and has been raising money for AIDS programs for 20 years with Dining By Design, which features fabulous dining environments created by cream-of-the-crop local and international designers.
As I walked around, I discovered some truly amazing products and designers.
One of the most impressive companies was Costantini. It was founded in 2002 by husband and wife team William Stuart and Barbara Ruckert. In 2003 they opened a gallery in Los Angeles where they appeared on the radar of Hollywood’s elite. They have developed their own design style that draws from South American materials and traditional wood and metal. I was most intrigued by William Stuart’s paintings. He uses layered fiberglass screens and acrylic latex with silicone. This process takes over these paintings in a unique way. His work is original and unlike anything that I’ve seen before.
Elizabeth Sutton creates unique compositions that are focused on enlivening spaces. Her work combines pop culture with a dash of kitsch. She does an amazing job of executing images of pop in cons like Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Mouse, just to name a few. With the use of acrylic on MDF board, these images are quite amazing and eye-catching. Elizabeth has partnered with publicist and curator Natasha Roberts to launch a shared product line. Sutton’s artwork can be seen on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing,’ as well as Beautique Restaurant & Lounge, along with other locations in New York City and The Hamptons. She is a true rising star in the art world.
I was fortunate enough to meet Vanessa Deleon, a real star of the design world, who was on hand to talk about her designs at The True Refrigeration booth. She showed me her designed kitchen cabinet, and I was most impressed with the refrigeration creation that was so practical in keeping and storing wines. Vanessa is a New York-based interior designer and also a television personality with offices in The Gold Coast of New Jersey and in the Soho area of New York City. She is currently a featured designer on the hit Food Network program “Restaurant Impossible,’ in which she helps turn failing restaurants into successful ones.
Next up Nick Leonoff, a glass blower born in Santa Clara, California, and now living in Brooklyn. Nick creates blown glass using Swedish overlay techniques to create layers of colored glass in the walls and on the surface of the glass forms. When these pieces have been annealed and cooled to room temperature, he carves the walls of the pieces with diamond wheels to remove layers of glass and expose colors within the piece. He explains that the blown pieces become the canvas on which he designs and creates. Now the carving process becomes the core of the design in each piece. He uses different sizes and the grit wheels create different cuts and patterns. His work resembles traditional textile as well as a modern industrial design. Nick’s work is very colorful and his images have a 3D look about them as you peer into the round circular shapes.
I caught Echo, a company that has been in business since 1923 but makes their debut at The Architectural Digest Show this year. Echo is best known for their amazing color scarves as well as gloves, ponchos, beachwear, hats and bags. I find that their products use extremely creative pattern designs that sets them apart from the rest. Echo is not just a design company, but one that is composed of true artists dedicated to making great products. Their items can be found in most of the great museums, like MOMA and The Metropolitan Museum Of Art. Echo also has a long standing licensing relationship with the Ralph Lauren family of brands.
That’s my brief tour of The Architectural Digest Show, making 2017 a fantastic year and a fabulous affair!
I need to give credit to Christine Abbate and her Novita PR team for making this annual New York event go smoothly!